Weekend Date at Gasparilla Music Festival 2021

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Weekend Date at Gasparilla Music Festival 2021

Music is a unifying force, and a surefire way to set the mood for a date. October 1 – 3, 2021, the Gasparilla Music Festival (GMF) returns to Tampa’s Curtis Hixon Park. For the first time, Tampa’s signature music festival spans three days. Gasparilla Music Festival promises many opportunities for sipping, singing, noshing, and dancing with your sweetie.

Tickets range from single-day passes for $40 to Saturday & Sunday access for $60 or a full 3-day pass for $90. VIP tickets are also available beginning at $125.

Gasparilla Music Festival 2021 Lineup

Friday, October 1 | Gates open 5pm

Friday’s musical lineup includes headliner SOFI TUKKER, a Florida based, Grammy-nominated duo. Date night, dancing queen dreams can be further realized with Friday night tunes from Young MC, DJ Casper, and more.

Also on Friday, October 1, you and your honey can join GMF and CAMP Tampa for an outdoor cycling class for charity. After the ride, stick around for a special guest artist concert plus tickets to Friday night’s headliner. The blend of sweat and jam sessions is bound to make your spin-sesh-sweetie crave an encore. Register here.

Hangry = not a good date night look. Intent on keeping food offerings local, Gasparilla Music Festival boasts over a dozen delicious vendors. Don’t be shy about digging into the chicken and waffle sandwich—cooked up by Ella’s Folk Art Café (a Seminole Heights staple). Title sponsor, Coppertail Brewing, will have plenty of cold beer to help you stay hydrated. Not one to turn down dessert? Cap off your Friday night with a gourmet ice pop from Whatever Pops. With all the cycling and dancing, you earned it.

The advance purchase price for Friday-only tickets is $40.

Image credit: Gasparilla Music Festival, photo by Dan Schuman


Saturday, October 2 | Music begins at 1:15pm

A good day date might be one of my favorite things. Saturday’s feel-good music line-up kicks off with the Gospel Choir at 1:15pm. The day’s lineup includes, to name a few, Matt and Kim, Sylvan Esso, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, and 99 neighbors.

Headlining Saturday night’s GMF: Nas. If I ruled the world, I’d make sure you and your date get up on your seats, throw your held hands in the air, and sing: “Just some thoughts for the mind…take a glimpse into time….” Imagine that for a Saturday night.

This year’s festival marks Gasparilla Music Festival’s 10th anniversary. Part of that celebration is premiering numerous opportunities for participating in activation art. GMF is a feast for the senses: while Parquet Courts performs their thought-provoking rock, festivalgoers activate art by painting their visualizations. This date could get deep.

Gasparilla Music Festival in Tampa
Image credit: Gasparilla Music Festival; photo by Blake Yeager Photography

The date could go deep into the night, too. GMF’s partner hotels, the JW Marriott Tampa – Water Street and Tampa Marriott – Water Street, are the ideal options for turning GMF into a musical getaway. Pack a weekender and get after it.

Post power nap, kick off Saturday night with a Silent Disco experience at the Riverfront Overlook at 6:30pm. Turn down…for what?! Grab a couple of Liquid Death Mountain Waters before listening to Speak Easy at 7:30pm on the Ferman Amphitheater Stage—no secret password necessary (just GMF tickets).

Peeling shrimp might seem neither VIP nor sexy, but it’s deliciously decadent. Big Ray’s Fish Camp will be on site with grouper sandwiches and peel and eat shrimp. Cantina Especial’s Tequila Soda is the perfect pairing and Saturday sip. Other beverage sponsors include Tito’s and Funky Buddha. There will be water, too.

The advance purchase price for Saturday-only tickets is $40. Saturday VIP tickets are also available, and each $125 ticket includes festival entry, air-conditioned bathrooms, and access to VIP tents, viewing areas, and bars.


Sunday, October 3 | Activities begin at 1pm

Sunday at GMF will be especially kid friendly. So, if childcare is tricky, make music festival Sunday a family affair. While there is no official Kids Fest this year, kids 12 and under remain free. Score!

Start the afternoon by joining CAMP Tampa for an outdoor, live DJ Reggae Flow in the Park yoga class at 1pm. There is a $10 donation. Proceeds benefit the Gasparilla Music Foundation and Recycled Tunes.

At 1:45pm, Bears and Lions, known for their animal costumes and mix of theatrics and music, will kick off the final day’s performances. Kids and parents are sure to love the eclectic group.

GMF caters to all ages, and there are plenty of kid-friendly food items. From King of the Coop’s chicken tenders baskets to Shadrach’s Fiery Furnace Pizza, all tummies should be happy and full. Music festivals are a good reason for a sugar rush. Kona Ice will serve shaved ice and novelty ice cream. Dough Nation, also serving ice cream, will have their beloved cookie dough on hand.

With plenty of outdoor space for dancing and running, along with a playground, Curtis Hixon Park presents festivalgoers prime real estate for getting all the wiggles out.

The advance purchase price for Sunday-only tickets is $40. VIP tickets are $125.

Image credit: Gasparilla Music Festival, photo by Ysanne Taylor


Gasparilla Music Festival 2021 Tickets + Details

Gasparilla Music Festival
October 1 – 3, 2021
Curtis Hixon Park
$40 general admission 1-day pass
$60 general admission 2-day pass (Sat/Sun)
$90 general admission 3-day pass
VIP tickets available from $125

Produced by the non-profit Gasparilla Music Foundation, GMF proceeds support music education in Bay area schools. Through its Recycled Tunes program, GMF will refurbish gently used instruments collected for the event. Refurbished instruments will be donated to local, Title I schools.

Visit gasparillamusic.com for the full lineup plus all of the Gasparilla Music Festival information you need to plan a music-filled weekend.

Check our curated events calendar for more happenings this month.


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